Melbourne’s winter has driven some of our members OS – and more are planning to join the exodus during August. Others are temporarily interstate. Some were incapacitated during July so the meeting was abandoned. Never-the-less a careful watch was kept on council activities. One of the councils dubious activities as been the disbanding of the 10 Village Committee system of monthly meetings – operating successfully for 20 years. Originally established by the Commissioners at the time for Council amalgamations the committees were a means of keeping Councillors informed about local issues and for the members of the committees being informed about forthcoming projects by the presiding officer present. Some Councillors saw the Village committees as a threat to their authority, and despite “consultation”, are determined to introduce a system where members are encouraged to join existing groups. This will limit consultation and information to one area only rather than the broad scope of the present system.
Port Phillip Conservation Council
At July meeting of the PPCC meeting Dr Prager again spoke about her research work of BMYS plans for expansion over the sea ledge fossil beds. According to recent research, should this massive development proceed, tidal movement and sand drift will be blocked by a granite wall. PPCC Secretary, Jenny Warfe, addressed Sustainable Population Australia’s AGM, 12 July. The topic,
Politics, Population and Ports
, described the monetary and environmental costs of massive enlargement of Victoria’s ports to cater for larger ships being built. Although many ports are being enlarged some are unable to do so because of space restrictions. If larger containers are unable to enter ports they will be bypassed. This may happen to Melbourne since dredging required to enlarge Hasting, the Yarra or Bay West will be environmentally damaging. Melbourne is at the tail end of the shipping line so may be bypassed anyway according to a recent ABC Radio National program.